Qnary Roundup: Facebook Experiments, Post-World Cup Twitter, and More

via RT Each Friday, the Qnary team hosts a meeting where we discuss the key topics in social media of the day. This Friday, however, we'll be celebrating the Fourth of July, so we thought we'd get our favorite stories to you early.

Facebook apologizes after secret psychological experiments caused outrage among users Facebook users are in an uproar after it was revealed that the social media platform conducted a psychological experiment on its users by manipulating their emotions without their knowledge. 689,003 randomly selected English-speaking Facebook users had the content of their newsfeed changed in order to observe the emotional impact of positive and negative comments.

The study was published in the latest edition of the journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists’ and found that “emotions expressed by other on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks.” (via RT).

“Buy Now” Buttons Start Appearing in Tweets. Is Twitter Shopping Finally Here? In what could be a transition into the e-commerce world, “Buy Now” buttons have been spotted in a few tweets the past few days on the shopping app called Fancy. The button only appears on the mobile app and as of now doesn’t seem to be active. However, according to Re/code tapping the button on Monday led to a checkout page opening up in the Twitter app.

This could be the first step towards online shopping via Twitter. Once apps like Fancy get the go ahead, it could be a game-changer for online shopping. (via Re/code).

New Facebook Pages Layout Available Globally Facebook announced a new layout for all pages on desktop. The refreshed design will be available to the roughly 30 million active small business Facebook pages and will offer more control over the look and functionality of their pages. Admins viewing their pages will be prompted to take the tour of the new page and can immediately switch to the new design once the tour is over. (via AllFacebook).

Instagram Was First Called ‘Burbn’ It’s hard to imaging today’s world without the popular photo-sharing app Instagram. However, the app began as a the much more complicated Burbn, which was a location-based iPhone app which allowed users to check in a particular locations, make plans for future check-ins, earn points for hanging with friends and post pictures of the meet-ups.

According to the creativity researcher behind both apps, Keith Sawyer, Burbn was too complicated to achieve a high level of success. He brought on programmer Mike Krieger and began work on a simple photo-sharing app that could produce easy-to-share, high-quality photos. The end product became Instagram, but after one more prototype called Scotch didn’t make the cut. (via The Atlantic).

Twitter’s Revolving Door Spins Again: Recent Leadership Changes Suggest That Twitter Is Struggling to Find Its Footing In the last few months, Twitter’s chief executive has replaced nearly every high-ranking executive as the social media platform struggles to figure out how to get more people to use their service. The margin of users between Twitter and Facebook continues to grow, with the latter having almost five times as many users.

The problem Twitter is facing is getting users to return to the site on a consistent basis. They have recently implemented a new sign-up experience surrounding the World Cup that prompts users to follow the Twitter accounts of players and teams. The idea behind it is if they make it easier to start following points of interest in the beginning, users are more likely to stay active after the World Cup ends. (via NYTimes).

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